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5Jhc £nchanted QJhaSJk and the Magic tfrntfati*

This is an effect that will be found to be most effective when performing before young children, and though there is plenty for the audience to see,' there is little for the conjurer to carry.


The conjurer commences by removing from what appears to be a large windowed envelope, a slate and a piece of white chalk; he tells his audience that it is not ordinary white chalk, but it has a special magic allowing it to write any colour that he chooses. Taking the slate he asks his audience to name their favourite colours and as these are named, he writes them on the slate. When four have been written he turns the slate around to show that he has written the names of the colours, but they are all in white chalk. His audience not being satisfied, he accordingly causes the names of the colours to appear in their appropriate colours. The slate is placed down and he takes from a table a sketching portfolio. Unfastening the tapes, he opens the portfolio out and removes a sheet of black paper which after being shown on both sides is replaced in the portfolio, a member of the audience then being asked to re-tie the tapes and take care of the portfolio. The slate with the coloured names is replaced inside the envelope, and a packet of large cards bearing pictures of flowers is shown and in a fair manner one card is selected. After a suitable story has been expounded regarding the magic powers of the chalk, the slate is removed and it is seen that some of the words have vanished; the envelope is also shown to be empty. The little girl holding the portfolio is told to open it and remove the paper. She does so and finds that the chalks have re-assembled not in word form, but in such a way that the selected flower pattern is represented.

The Requirements.

1. One slate with two perfect fitting flaps.

2. One envelope to hold the slate; this is manufactured out of white paper and should look like an envelope with a window, i.e., the type of commercial envelope in which the contents carry the address. Instead of having a flap that folds over, as in the case of a normal envelope, the shape of this flap is simulated by appropriate lines drawn in Indian ink. On the front of the envelope is painted a large stamp (or alternatively an ordinary stamp can be stuck on), an imitation postmark then being drawn over it. The final effect should be that when it comes to displaying the envelope, it appears that the envelope has been sent by post. The top edge of the envelope should not be as though they were cut, but rather as though the envelope has been torn open.

3. Some fifteen cards, each carrying the picture of a flower. This need not entail any drawing on the reader's part, for the packets in which seeds and bulbs are sold and which invariably carry a coloured picture of a flower may be cut out and stuck one on each card. The size of the cards should be the same as the slate flap.

4. A piece of white chalk.

5. The Portfolio. This needs special construction and requirements and I will come to all these in a moment.

6. Two pieces of black pastel paper slightly smaller in size than the portfolio.

7. A large opaque handkerchief.


One flap is taken and on one side is affixed a piece of paper corresponding to the paper used for the construction of the envelope. The other flap has one side covered with paper corresponding to the backs of the picture cards.

The portfolio as I already mentioned requires special construction. It is responsible for the change of one piece of black paper for the other, and in such a way that the portfolio can be left with a member of the audience. The illustrations should help the reader.

First of all the reader will require some sheets of thick cardboard. As this is for a trick, I don't think that there is any need to make the portfolio very much larger than ten by twelve inches (this, of course, is not in any way comparable with a normal sketching portfolio, but should the reader wish there is nothing to stop him making it larger). In consequence, supposing that this size is chosen, four sheets of the cardboard cut to this size will be needed. Join two of the pieces on the long side by means of a linen hinge. This hinge, unlike a normal portfolio allows for practically no spacing between the covers when they are closed. The covers then have another sheet of cardboard glued to each. Now at points A. B. C and D with the aid of a sharp knife make a cutout that will accommodate an eclipse magnet.

If the reader is careful in cutting he will find that the magnets, when placed in the cut-out, will be held tightly. After affixing a piece of black tape to the edge of each cover the outside and inside of the covers are covered with paper. The paper chosen for the inside should be patterned, whilst that on the outside should be plain. A piece of thin but not top pliable cardboard, measuring ten by twelve, is taken and it is placed inside the portfolio. At the points, which, when the portfolio is closed A, B, C and D would be opposite, four safety razor blades are placed and kept in position by means of cellotape (Scotch tape). I suggest razor blades as they are always handy ; four pieces of thin tinned iron are far better. This piece of card is now covered on each side with a similar paper to that used on the inside of the portfolio. If, when finished, this piece of card is placed inside the portfolio, it will adhere to that part of the cover which holds the magnets. If the pattern of the paper has been chosen, it will not, without a very close examination be possible to notice that the portfolio is anything more than two hinged covers. As far as the necessary mechanism needed for the trick we have finished, and the reader is ready to prepare for actual performance.

First of all suppose we decide that the flower to be used is a daffodil. A replica of the picture on the card is drawn on one of the sheets of black paper; the main colours are of course green and yellow.

On the slate are now written the following words, one underneath the other in their appropriate colours (older readers will recognise this part of the effect as Sigmund Krumgold's "Colour Blindness," JINX, page 167), red, blue, yellow, green, and the flap which is backed with paper similar to the backs of the " flower " cards is placed over it so that the slate appears blank. On the other flap the words red and blue are written in their appropriate colours, spaces being left for yellow and green so that when the flap is shown at a later stage it would appear that these colours continued on page 11

Flashback !

N stands for Newmann

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